Aug. 14, 2023Print | PDF
Shohini Ghose, a professor of Physics and Computer Science at Wilfrid Laurier University, has been appointed to the Government of Canada’s Quantum Advisory Council. The council’s mandate is to provide impartial advice to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and monitor the progress of the National Quantum Strategy.
“Canada has already played a major role in the development of quantum science and technology over the past few decades,” says Ghose. “The National Quantum Strategy will enable Canada to remain a leader in the field and set an example for the world of supporting research, education and innovation in a way that will benefit all of society.”
Quantum mechanics is the physics of the very small. The field seeks to predict and explain the behaviour of atoms and molecules and involves the manipulation and control of systems at the atomic and subatomic levels.
Canada’s National Quantum Strategy has three key missions: to establish global leadership in the development of quantum computing hardware and software; ensure the privacy and cyber-security of Canadians in a quantum-enabled world; and enable the federal government and relevant industries to be early adopters of new quantum sensing technologies.
“Quantum science offers a new framework for computing that is more powerful and exciting than traditional computing,” says Ghose. “One of the potential impacts is that current data encryption will be vulnerable to future quantum computers, so it is important for Canadians to be aware of both the benefits and threats of this technology. Furthermore, students can help shape the future of the field by choosing quantum-focused degree programs or by exploring how it could impact various sectors such as information security, healthcare, finance and energy.”
Ghose is a leader in the field of quantum physics and computing, serving as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (Ontario), chair of the Working Group on Quantum Science and Technology of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, and past president of the Canadian Association of Physicists. She is an award-winning researcher at Laurier, where she is also the founding director of the Centre for Women in Science.
“My research focuses on quantum information theory and has given me a broad perspective on the field,” says Ghose. “Additionally, in my role as NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, I have focussed on building an inclusive research landscape in STEM. These aspects of my work will inform my contributions to the advisory council, both for addressing the technical aspects of growing the quantum ecosystem and for bringing diversity and inclusion to Canada's quantum strategy.”
The Quantum Advisory Council draws on expertise from industry, academia, and the not-for-profit and investment sectors. Ghose and her fellow members will serve in a volunteer capacity for two years, with the possibility of renewal.